Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Diagnosis: Part 2

The doctor appointment started with Matthew hopping on the scale. Matthew had lost 9 pounds since his yearly appointment in the fall. And you know what? He really looked it. I think he must have lost several pounds in that last week. He looked very gaunt. As soon as Matthew's pediatrician saw his weight loss, he was concerned.

They checked Matthew's urine and his sugars were all out of whack. The doctor seemed confident that it was diabetes and called a children's endocrinologist.

Meanwhile.....while Matthew and I were waiting to hear from the endocrinologist, Kevin was battling a kidney stone. Yes, folks....when it rains, it pours. Kevin was upstairs in the same building having his own fun exam. He later met us at the ER. (And yes, he did pass that stone.)

Before I detail our hospital visit, let me just say those folks were fantastic! First of all, we didn't have to wait in the waiting room because the doctor had called ahead. When your child is really sick, that is a huge blessing.

Now, at this point, Matthew knew the diagnosis was diabetes. He also knew the fix was insulin. What he did not know was that you have to take the insulin through shots. Call me a wimp if you must, but I was not going to be the one to tell him that part. Quite frankly, I didn't want to do shots either. I was terrified to stick needles in my child. But when the doctor looks at you and tells you that without insulin, your child will die before the year is out....well....you get over your fear of needles real quick.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Once we got into his little ER room, Matthew popped up on the bed and was doing okay. Then the nicest woman you'd ever want to meet, Miranda, came in to talk with Matthew. I'm not exactly sure what her job title was, but I think she was a child life specialist.

She began by telling Matthew that she herself had diabetes. This was huge for Matthew. (And for me!) To see a happy, healthy person facing the same struggle meant a lot to both of us. Somewhere during the conversation, Matthew learned about the shots. You can imagine the tears when that realization set in.

But Miranda helped tremendously. She told Matthew that she began with 6 shots a day (at this point, we thought Matthew would have to have only 2 shots a day. It's actually turned out to be a minimum of 4.) Miranda now has a pump and told Matthew a little about that.

The best thing Miranda shared with Matthew was that she was once on a medical team that traveled to Africa. Diabetes did not stop her from adventuring through Africa and you know Matthew....that was just what he needed to hear. She was a blessing.

Miranda also talked to Matthew about what was going to happen to him while he was in the hospital. She began explaining how a man named Justin was going to insert an IV into his hand. Matthew was not exactly thrilled.

Then suddenly, the curtain was shoved aside and the funniest/coolest guy you ever saw was standing there. He had spiky hair and was busy making muscle poses while holding his medical kit. Matthew laughed and laughed. Then Justin grabbed cottonballs and started throwing them at everyone. Before you knew it, Matthew was in tears again, but this time the tears were from laughter. It was great!

All those silly antics from Justin meant the world to me. He was simply fantastic. And as you can imagine, he got the IV in with no problem. Must have been the magic freeze spray.....

More tomorrow.

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